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Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004 - 12:53 a.m.

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Traditional Definitions Rock Out


I am just googling a bit on these "traditional definitions thingies"... ya know since everyone is all hellfired up about the "traditional definition of marriage" and activist judges and changing definitions and all...

Traditional Definition of Persons

Let's see. The British North America Act didn't define persons to include women. Nope persons could be in the Canadian Senate, but not women, since women are not persons, or at least there was a lot of doubt that the definition of persons included women.

When was that? Well, there was a big stink about it in about 1917, when on Emily Murphy's first day in court as a magistrate, the defense lawyer said that he didn't think she could be a judge since she was a woman. Enter in a ten year fight for women to be declared persons. Yup. in 1929 women were declared persons in Canada in the "Person's Case". Oh the screaming and fighting, judgements and appeals.

Cuz of course it would upset the whole world if women were included in the definition of persons you know. Women were capable of being judges but not persons. wow.

That is not so long ago. That was when my grandmother was in her twenties.

Did the world end with the legal inclusion of women in the definition of persons? nope. (well, they might be able to pinpoint some earthquakes of floods or flu epidemics the same year that showed God was VERY ANGRY, much like supposedly 9/11 was caused by feminists and liberals and gays).

Traditional Definition of Citizen

Here is a quote from this article:

t is the accepted norm in many modern states that any person meeting the legal standard definition of "citizen" shall enjoy all the privileges of citizenship, regardless of ethnic origin. It is important to realise that this concept is not traditional in any society; it is a recent innovation. In all cases it's an innovation that was difficult to adopt and in most cases citizens belonging to ethnic minorities have rights on paper that are in fact often limited by custom or by government negligence.

The US example is illustrative, here the Declaration of Independence stated that "all men are created equal", but the constitution written a few years later allowed for the existence of slaves, stating that they shall each count as two-thirds of a person for the purposes of delineating congressional districts. Eighty years later the constitution was amended to explicitly state that "all persons born or naturalised in the US" are citizens (before that the term in practice meant a landed Protestant gentleman of European ancestry) but another hundred years passed before the rights of citizens were enforceable by Federal law, up to then states that wished to do so could restrict rights based on ancestry.

Now let's see... here's from an article about desegregation: It notes that all Americans born there were declared citizens in 1870 with the passing of the 14th amendment and the 15th amendment , Black men in theory got the right to vote, but few were actually allowed to (even in the 60's all sorts of voter manipulation, unequal rules etc were designed to keeps blacks from voting, and federal authorities decided that enforcement of voting rights was strictly a state matter)... see the article on Civil Rights.

But it was still a separate but equal system... in 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment did not require facilities to be racially integrated as long as they were "equal", and this "separate but equal" doctrine prevailed for well over a half-century until it was reversed in 1954 by the Supreme Court who then decided that racially separate facilities were inherently unequal.

Hmmmm well, does THAT remind us of any current arguments and fights going on?? Mr Kerry's "no marriage for gays is ok as long as they have civil unions"?? (compared to Bush's "we don't want em on the bus... they are just not LIKE us")

Traditional Definitions of Race

Well, here is an article that is about a million miles long but amazing reading, about the idea of race... and how it has evolved in meaning and content, and continues to do so, and the definition differs from country to country, group to group, from biologists, ethnologists, anthropologists, and the lay person. Boggling. Hmm. No consensus on race to speak of whatsoever. Totally fascinating comprehensive article. And after reading it you'll realize it makes about as much sense to bar "black" people from doing something as to bar O-negative people from doing it. There is 85% variation in bloodtypes WITHIN races and only 15% difference BETWEEN races as to blood types. Now what does that say about how meaningful race is as a way to divide humans? An O-negative white person has more physiologically in common with an O-negative black or asian person than they do with a B-positive white person. Note the huge problems of intermixing bloodtypes in some cases... with resulting rejection of fetus, antibody production in the mother etc... from two white people. Whereas the same bloodtype in a black/white genetic pairing to produce a baby is perfectly fine. What does that say about God's plan?? Here is an article Ernest Miller has written about the introduction of anti-miscegenation laws made to forever forbid interracial marriage in the States... bills passing left right and center. Hmmm. That doesn't ring any bells either does it.

And now I hate to say it but I have been googling and reading so much in the past hour that I am going to wrap up this little history of changing traditional definitions and how they are selectively applied, usually in the interest of European Protestant white men. Hmmm.

Sorry for pooping out. I'm going to pee and have another coffee mocha (instant hot chocolate + instant decaf coffeemmmmmm) :)

Gotta get the final bits done on my Leo's Dog sketches and up tomorrow to show it to the author and editor. I'll letcha know how it goes.


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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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